Monday, November 02, 2009

These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins




For a time, I tried to starve myself, the predictable outcome of being a gymnast, a dancer, and living in our culture. I wasn't that good at it like some people I knew, but I did manage to get my mother to say things like, Look Don, the Americans have liberated the camps when she looked at pictures of me. From her, I get my morbid sense of humor, something I always enjoyed about her, even when some of her other qualities were rougher to handle. I miss her still, her energy for lack of a better word, the way she embraced the dark side even as other parts of her were trying to be perfect, to be loved, to be accepted. One of my saddest memories of her was when she returned from a baby shower and was bemoaning the fact that she didn't have a Laura Ashley dress like all the other women, talking about how out of place she felt. Truth was, she looked beautiful and didn't have to wear a flowered romper dress to prove it. I vowed then and there to always wear what I wanted and not give a damn about anyone else's opinion. Another gift from the dead.

On the day of the dead, I put up shrines and make food. Food no one eats. It's for the dead people. This is a great strategy as the living should not be subjected to such horror. And it's fitting because the dead are my substance as well. As a writing, we can write about the living which I frequently do (as a fairly autobiographical writer -- let's face facts, I'm not bright enough to make stuff up), but it has a way of sometimes calcifying the relationship and pissing people off, something I try not to do. Now the DSVM has included complicated grieving syndrome as a diagnosis. This is why i don't put a lot of stock in psychiatry -- they're always taking away my fun. I like mystery and all grief is complicated and hard and lovely the way a song by Miles Davis is. It makes us ache with the sadness of life, the way the light that we never think will go out fades ever so beautifully.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Grief turns out to be a place none of us knows until we reach it." Joan Didion

Cocktail Hour
Anyone out there watching Mad Men? One more episode!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

6 comments:

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Scott said...

Michelle,

As always, you have such a way with words. I love the fact that you like the mysterious aspects of life. A friend told me that she wanted to study psychiatry in part to figure herself out, but I told her that soemtimes things are not always easily explained by 'science'. Keep bein' you, Darlin'.

-p.s.-Nice pics in the last few posts. :)

Jason said...

Is it weird I still want to be a writer sometimes because I'm afraid no one will write my story?

the walking man said...

If I were to allow myself to ache with all of the sadness...for me it is better to remain pissed off about it all and its multiplicity of causes.

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